Former Officer Sentenced for Obstructing Civil Rights Investigation

James Stewart Justice was sentenced for obstructing a federal civil rights investigation.

In Nashville, Tennessee, James Stewart Justice, a former corrections officer at the Maury County Jail, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release. This sentencing comes after a federal jury convicted Justice of falsifying records during a federal civil rights investigation into allegations of his sexual misconduct with an inmate under his care.

United States Attorney Henry C. Leventis for the Middle District of Tennessee emphasized the responsibility of corrections officers to uphold the law and maintain public trust. He remarked that this case should serve as a warning that violations of law and trust by corrections officers will be met with accountability.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division highlighted the abuse of power in this case, stressing the duty of law enforcement officers to protect those in their custody and to take allegations of sexual misconduct seriously.

Special Agent in Charge Douglas S. DePodesta of the FBI Memphis Field Office underscored the FBI’s commitment to ensuring the safety and civil rights of all individuals. He affirmed the agency’s dedication to prosecuting those who exploit their positions of trust.

Court documents revealed that Justice, in an attempt to counter allegations of sexual abuse, submitted a report to the Maury County Jail claiming he had been advised against documenting an inmate’s alleged sexual advances towards him. This report also omitted Justice’s later admission of a sexual relationship with the inmate after the latter’s release. This case underscores the ongoing efforts by federal agencies to address and rectify abuses of power within the corrections system.

The case was investigated by the FBI Memphis Field Office, Nashville Resident Agency, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda J. Klopf for the Middle District of Tennessee and Trial Attorney Kyle Boynton of the Civil Rights Division.

Source: Read Original Release